And So Was My CNY...
Sunday, February 12, 2006
A relative in Rawang threw an open house party last night, in conjunction with CNY. It was a bungalow quietly tucked away from the bustling city of KL. Quite a well-to-do family, they drive luxury cars and own a few bungalows in that area alone. Another relative who was also at the open house, talked to me about career options and stuff like that. You know that if you're in your early 20's, and when you attend a gathering such as this (esp during the CNY!), you're bound to draw questions like "Finish studying already?", "Got girlfriend already?", "What course are you studying?", "How long more?"... you get the idea.

One of the most common ones has got to be "When's your turn?". Only three words, but it can almost be universally applied. It could mean "when's your turn... to marry", " be xx-in-law", " give ang pows", " be grandma", etc. I hate it when the questions pertain to me - either on studies, relationship or career (or any combination of the three). As for Sis, usually they stop asking at the point where she says "Oh I'm now awaiting my STPM results". Only a few continue to ask her about her choice of study, and even fewer ask her whether she's in a relationship. She has a boyf of more than 4 years (I think. I've lost count), while I am currently unattached. Why don't they ask her instead of me, argh..

The lamb served was absolutely delicious - they bought a whole lamb for this party. Guests included neighbours, family and friends - really muhibbah and multiracial. We left early and took my grandma home all the way to Kajang, where we'd picked her up in the morning. With all that highway driving, I can only hope that I've not been caught speeding. RM10.20 per trip to Rawang, another RM4.00 to Kajang and back to Subang - our 'ang pow' to the highway concessionaires. (As I was telling Candy, these places end with -ang in their names! Oh, today we drove to Klang also).

Brief stopover at a welfare home in Klang
As the 15-day period of CNY draws to an end, gifts and donations continue to pour in at Gracehome, a social welfare home somewhere deep inside Klang. During our visit there this afternoon alone, two groups of visitors dropped by with assorted items. In addition to foods, angpows were also given to the occupants - largely made up of elderly Chinese and Indian women. The home receives a larger number of visitors during the CNY period, mostly relatives.

One particular occupant was around my age. According to a caretaker, she was brought to the home for close to 5 years now, and her family members had never paid her a visit. Sad isn't it? A very friendly and bubbly person, she could easily pass as a caretaker instead. During chatting, she told us about herself, her pastime, how she could not get a job, her boredom living in the home, and that her family has never seen her for 5 years now. I was told that she suffers from some kinda mental disorder. But as far as I could tell, she was just like one of us.

Another occupant, a much older one, later sang songs - much to the delight of everyone, or so it seemed. The other folks (plus the young woman) put on smiles that make you wonder if they were ever this happy throughout the rest of the year. A torrent of thoughts came crashing in my mind as I thought about the folks while walking out of the place. I wondered if their relatives had paid them a visit this year. I wondered if there'd be visitors even though the CNY period is over. I wondered what'd I do if I were them. I left the place hoping that our visit had brought them at least a glimmer of joy.
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